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Hi all,
I love stage lighting and have really enjoyed programming my controller, but I would like to "take it to the next level" and have my scenes/chases triggered by my band's music.

Here's what I have:

Elation Operator 192. 8 pars, 5 scanners, other stuff. No moving heads yet, but maybe later.

I know that the operater 192 can be triggered by internal mic, but the triggering is too sensitive-It will cycle through the scenes way too quickly. I've also tried sending a feed into the 192 from the mixing board, with the same results. Is there a way to control sensitivity on the Op 192?

I would really enjoy learning how to trigger another way-perhaps through MIDI? Any suggestions on what equipment or software I would need? I have a high end HP laptop running Vista. How do live bands (without a lighting or sound guy) manage to pull off professional looking light shows?

Thanks for reading this long post, and many thanks for helping out a bassist/drummer and "wanna be" lighting director.
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Hi Amda,

Welcome to the forums!

1st of I have to mention that in most cases the professional lighting shows are usally always pulled of with lighting guy.
I have yet to see a great light show that does not have a light guy behind a light desk. very rare.

That being said the internal mic is doing a great job. Using internal mic will never do what you want same with feeding a line in.

Now going MIDI may be your ticket. However we are not MIDI pro's here and if you don't understand MIDI, you may have to jump into an audio or MIDI forum to understand that more.
Midi will allow you to activate a feature of the OP pro 192, be it a chase or a scene.
You will then have to figure out which of your devices will trigger that midi note to activate the feature you want.

These are the MIDI options of your board.

hope this helps.
Thanks John, I really appreciate your feedback and input. Do you have any books/websites or other recommendations on how become better at programming lights? Also-if you were jumping into moving heads for the first time, what would you recommend as a minimum type of fixture? I'm going to have 2 placed behind the drummer. Also, what do you recommend to light the front of the stage at small venues? I have a bunch of pin spots, probably need to go with some par 64s or leds I suppose?
For front light at smaller venues, I would lean more towards LEDs vs Par 64s. Par 64s can be lamped 500w, 600w, or 1000w. That is a lot of juice, and at smaller venues, power is often an issue. Check out the Opti 30 RGBs or the new Opti 30 Tri. If that is out of your price range, would look to the P64LED Pro like jingles said.

For moving heads, again, DS250s are great fixtures. The might be out of your range however, so a Power Spot 250 would be a cheaper, yet still great quality alternate. Cheaper still would be an Accu Spot Pro. I wouldn't recommend going lower then that on the moving head scale though. Also, anything more then 250w would be over kill in the moving head department for smaller venues.
Hi Jingles and Serra-thanks so much for your prompt responses! I really appreciate your experience and advice. My band will be playing smaller clubs and parties. My budget will be a couple thousand clams, so I really like your recommendations. I won't be ready for 575W fixtures for awhile, and I'll certainly check out your recommendations for the led pars.

What software do you use to control your lights? I'm using the op 192 now, but foresee switching to computer in the future. As mentioned above, I'm really interested in getting my light show synched (is sequenced the right term?) with the live music. How is this done by pros? and is there a cost effective way (within a 1-2k budget) to do this?
For software control, check out Elation's CompuLive. AMDJ also has MyDMX which is a simpler version of Compu basically. Beyond that, you are getting into the high dollar stuff that really needs console bits to be effective like Jands Vista or Hog PC. These consoles are also way more complicated the Compu or MyDMX.

As for syncing, pro's normally do this by time code. Time code is rather expensive, so your best bet would probably be Midi. As John said, none of us on here (that I know off) are Midi experts. I have never actually used it, I just tend to program really long and complicated cue stacks for songs that more or less run themselves.

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